ARTIST: Jethro Tull
TITLE: This Was
YEAR RELEASED: 1968
CHART ACTION: #62 US, #10 UK
SINGLES: A Song For Jeffrey
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Dharma For One was on some compilations
LINEUP: Ian Anderson, Mick Abrahams, Glenn Cornick, Clive Bunker
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The Jethro Tull Blues Band? Yep. The first Tull album was mostly in a blues vein, instead of classical and jazz, and definitely not one that’s shouting at a Higher Being.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The first Jethro Tull incarnation had one foot in the blues, thanks to Mick Abrahams, and one in jazz and classical thanks to Ian Anderson. Abrahams was a peer to Anderson on this album and wrote and directed a few numbers. They covered “Cat’s Squirrel”! They have a big ol’ drum solo on “Dharma for One”. Yeah, it’s kind of like Cream with a flute.
Because of this, it sounds odd for a Tull album. It also makes the album unfocused at times. However, Abrahams is a great blues player and the rest of Tull are also excellent at what they do, so it is a nice listen. It’s just not what you expect for Tull.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Abrahams left soon after, as he really wanted to get into a blues based band. He formed Blodwyn Pig, which released a couple of albums that were pretty well regarded.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, it has a couple of B-sides and singles, including “Love Story”, the single that seemingly introduced the ‘new’ sound of Tull to the UK.
GRADE: B : Good, not great, and it’s still odd to hear a blues based Tull.